Key West and the journey continues

Key west

It seems I fall in love with every new city I go to. This place, Florida Keys, Key West, down south, is something special. The lifestyle, the weather, the people. Everything, I want to stay, can I stay please?

5.30am flight from Nu-or-Lins to Fort Lauderdale. One Mustang hired. Follow us as we take you for a drive from Here to Eternity, or Key West. The journey begins driving around a 6 storey carpark looking for an exit. Surely the exit was on the ground floor? No, it was on level 4.

Stress levels rising for Craig.

A slow coastal drive to Miami for a planned breakfast, then straight to Key West (in an estimated one hour) for the next few days. This was the plan.

Breakfast in Miami, hmmm we went hungry. Parking was impossible and in the end with rumbling tummys we drove on. I shed a little tear but stayed brave. It was worth the wait, let me tell you. So what we thought was about 100km (approx 1 hour drive) was in actual fact, approximately 6 hours with speed limits, one lane roads and realisation 100km was on actually 155 miles.

Exit mainland

Do you know the song Key Largo? Remember ? Bertie Higgins? it was an 80s hit.

We had it all

Just like Bogie and Bacall

Starring in our old late, late show

Sailing away to Key Largo

Come on don’t tell me that you weren’t born then…

I had a romantic notion about this place due to that song. When you cross the bridge from the mainland you can turn left which would have taken us to a national park or you can turn right. We took right due to the fact we were heading to Key West, sticking to the highway, we saw nothing. So if you’re heading in this direction, perhaps you can check it out and then let us know too.

We were feeling really hangry now, (so hungry you are angry) these 2 starving Aussie’s were on the lookout for food preferably healthy. Desperation was setting in, that was UNTIL we both saw MRS MACS. At the time we did not know that trip advisor highly recommends this place. For that fact, so do we now.

Simultaneously we said THERE, that is the place we are stopping. This is a must visit Diner. The menu is vast and they will do anything for you. We had the most scrumptious well worth waiting for meal. You must GO GO GO!

Roof off the Mustang we drove on. Arrival to the charming Chelsea House Hotel. So gorgeous, clean and welcoming. As usual, drop bags and out the door we go.

The conch houses ( Bahama style) are beautiful. Predominantly white weatherboard, a few are pastel colored, 2 storey with big verandas and shutters on the windows. They were all built in the 1800s and many appear to be heritage listed.

We stayed on Truman Street. Which brings me to the Truman Annex, which is a small neighborhood filled with big beautiful houses and a naval base. It is picture perfect where nothing is out of place. It certainly pays to be part of the naval forces here. Harry S Truman had his mini holiday Whitehouse is within the Truman Annex. The small Whitehouse was also a holiday home to Dwight Eisenhower, Kennedy, Carter and Clinton.

Do you remember the movie The Truman show? Personally that movie seems loosely based on the Truman Annex. Possibly correct, probably incorrect, but my opinion. “Good morning, in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, good night”

We walked the beautiful streets. Chickens and roosters crow loudly, clucking around these perfect streets taking precedence at all times. You see, this is my kind of town. I even witnessed 5 gorgeous chooks crossing the road at their clucky leisure as the cars sat patiently waiting.

The main drag, Duval Street, is the energetic happening street of the Keys. Bars, music, restaurants and shops, the western end of Duval is the street is most happening and perhaps more for the younger generation. Younger than us that is. We visited a bar called Willie Ts. The roof and the walls were coated in one dollars bills, signed by the donors. There would have been thousands of dollars on those walls. Music starts at 11am and finishes around 11pm.

The food quality is right up there with home. I always say Australia, namely Melbourne has the best and freshest food in the world, but I have to say we were served fabulous meals. Off the hook, situated in a little side street serves up the most mouth watering dishes. Definitely worth a visit.

Walking past the VIP Gentlemen’s club, I got an invite in. Come and play. You can bring him, referring to Craig. We do couples. Let me shout you a drink. For a small town, there sure is a lot of gentlemen’s clubs, a more polite name for strip club, three, well, that we know of and an erotic dessert restaurant.

The mode of transport around here is typically push bikes, mopeds, buggies, convertible cars, all ideal for this most beautiful climate.

We spent a perfect day riding around this little island on push bikes. From the Marina to Fort Zachary Taylor park (Fort Zach to the locals) where we swam in the warm Bahamian beach. To the southernmost point in USA, if you dared, you could swim to Cuba. It’s only 90 miles. It did have us wondering why there is no ferry from Key West to Cuba.

Onward to an absolute legends house. I was very excited about this little visit. Ernest Hemingway’s house and museum. What a man, we learnt so much more with our very knowledgeable guide Steve and his enchanting story telling and southern accent.

We were introduced to Betty Grable and Ingrid Bergman whilst there. What? I can hear you say, they are cats. Ernest who was also known affectionately as Papa, owned a cat called Snow White, the interesting thing about Snow White was it had six toes. Today there are 54 cats living in that house, all descendants of Snow White and many of them still courting a 6th toe.

Next on our peddling itinerary was Sloppy Joes, this was one of papas favourite bars and Joe was one of his best friends. A large pub with live music and all the walls wearing memorabilia of Papa. I have a, big but, this was not the original Sloppy Joes, but is very place was very dedicated to his memory. The original Sloppy Joes is now He was well loved and respected in these parts.

We have filled our time with fun and adventures in this quaint, very cool coastal island. So as I said why do I fall in love with every new place I visit. Ah this one is truly worthy. Picturesque, adorable houses, clean, good food, beaches, quiet but still,plenty happening and people who are friendly, and polite and have plenty of patience. Especially on the roads. The most courteous drivers you will ever meet. This was proven when they stopped, waited, never abused once, the crazy Australian lady on her push bike driving down a one way street the wrong way, on the wrong side of the road, stopping for no reason, pulling out at the wrong time. As I screamed out my apologies I was always met with a smile and a wave, or your alright darlin.

Funny thing happened when we returned our bikes. Craig parked hid bike a little to close to the row of about 10 other bikes. Yes, You guessed it. Bike domino. The workers weren’t laughing, but they were still polite, however, we 2 Aussie’s in paradise were cracking up.

What better way to end my affair with paradise? Yoga rhythm on the beach at Fort Zach Park ( have you noticed I referred to it as Fort Zach?) . Dan the yoga instructor and his wife have extended an invitation to us to join them in Portugal next year for yoga? Should we stay or should We go?

Here’s looking at you kid.


Better Than Sex

What is “Better than Sex”?

Dessert and luscious or should I say lushfull drinks.

Do I have your attention now? An adults only dessert restaurant right here in Key West. Did we go? Of course? A dark little restaurant, taking you back to the 20s era, bordello style, where you are led to your own private little booth. The menu is given to you modern day style, on an iPad. It is vast and fabulous, tickling your tastebuds.

Delectable desserts such as Cookie Nookie, Fork you fondue, Kinky key lime pie, Missionary crisp ( I had that one) to tantalise your taste buds and drinks with a twist, champagne, beers, one with a white chocolate and coconut rim ( called a rim job), I had a vodka wine with chocolate drizzled through the glass and rimmed in caramel. Coffees oozing mouth watering decadence. This is not the place to count calories. I just died and went to sugar heaven. You leave this establishment feeling quite naughty, with a look of sheer delight and satisfaction on your face.

Our punishment this evening for this ultimate decadence was received and served, leaving the heavenly venue we were hit with torrential rains that resulted in us having to run. Some one up there encouraging us to burn some calories.

Janette Bendle 8th May 2018

Red Wine


Sitting at an airport bar

Heading to a destination abroad 

a new land afar

Sipping on an airport drink

Cheers to our next adventure 

I say with a wink

Red wine for me 

A beer for you

No duty free shopping

We needed something to do

It’s tastes so fine

This red wine o mine 

Now a situation arises

An Unlikely event 

My flight is called

Finish my wine, they will not prevent 

That I do not finish this wine o mine

I will, I’ll finish it, it tastes so divine

This glass of wine I will most likely finish 

The level of the wine in this glass

Will most definitely diminish 

Cheers to me

For when it comes tomorrow 

A brand new place I will be 

Janette Bendle may 4 2018


Destination Known

Destination unvisited

Excited hardly explains how I have been feeling for the past week

3 weeks here I come. First stop LA, for a over night stay. A fifteen hour flight on the new qantas Dreamliner. 15 hours. Whilst excited about the trip, dread filled me when I thought about the flight. I am without doubt a jet lagger. Yes, I suffer.

Armed with my melatonin for a hopefully successful transition into my new destination. I just needed to get through the long flight. I almost feel claustrophobic on an aeroplane. Cramped seats, no fresh air, no escape. Dread!

The Dreamliner was a smaller plane and I made sure with by chatting, then adorning my pleading face to the lovely check in attendant, please please can I have an aisle seat. Success.

Sitting here at LAX, I’m thankful and surprised at the ease of this flight. It went quick, it was comfortable, it was a piece of cake.

Is this new airplane what dreams are made of? Not exactly if you are in economy but it is a hell of a lot better.

The trip itself. First movie, STRONGER with Jake gyllenhal. Wow. Moving. About Jeff Bauman. The spectator who lost his legs at Boston marathon bombing.

Food. Aeroplane food, hmmmm. It was edible. Hey did you know, that they now have little treats on board these new dreamliners. Dreams are only made of this. 😛 okay a bit cheesy. It is a help yourself cupboard. Soft drinks, water, chocolate, cookies, cheese and biccies, fruit. I may have visited that little comfort cupboard once or twice. Deserved though, after I had done a few crazy yoga stretches which had staff chatting and laughing, I’m going to say with me, not at me. Comfort food deserved! I grabbed myself a little comfort pack also, containing ear plugs, eye patch and tooth brush.

Back to my seat. Fluffy bed socks on, check.Ear plugs in, check. Eye patch in place, check, Noise cancelling ear phones over top of my ear plugs. Indeed an attractive sight. I meditated, then attempted sleep.

I actually dozed. Very rare for me as a chronic non sleeper in life in general, let a lone flying. Yes, I dozed. I woke, turned the one way, I watch 10 minutes of a new movie, dozed again, turned again. Then I experienced whiplash, you know that severe head drop that feels like you have just detached you head from your neck. You know the one I mean? It wakes you up with a bang, probably 6 times.

After a few hours and feeling thankful my head was still attached, we were served breakfast or was it lunch, no it was dinner. According to my Aussie time schedule it should have been breakfast, according to my new Los Angeles time schedule it was dinner. So let’s call it dinner-break and forwhat should have been my breakfast, I was served and ate a Greek salad and garlic bread. Noice!!!

Movie number 2. A beautiful movie about friendship, love, heartbreak. Set in one of my favorite places in the world, Italy. Call me by your name. Watch it!

We are here. LA. We have just travelled back in time. We left melbourne Friday 4th at 9.30pm and arrive after a 15 hour flight on Friday 4th at 7pm.

That could be movie title “back to the past “ , which in 3 weeks allows me to say Back to the Future (part 105)

Let the adventure begin.

May 5th 11am welcome aboard America Airlines flight 2580 to New Orleans. Now please pronounce this correctly.

Nu-Or-Lins. I have been practicing all week. I now sound like a local.

Chat soon


I cry for you

#dailypost #saveouranimals #myheart Sleeve

I have a little ache

I’m holding it up my sleeve

I’m thinking of sharing it

Sharing it on this eve


I have a heart that breaks

Every single day

For another animal, another life

It is d day

with their life they pay


It seems I have no secret

Hiding up my sleeve

Something I have told you

An atrocity hard to conceive


It hurts me with a pain so deep

every day I weep and weep


For those without a voice

I wear my heart on my sleeve

For those forgotten

Everyday I grieve


I hear your cries, I see your pain

Deja vu


I cry for you


God help you all

Forgive us humans

As we fall

(C) janette Bendle May 2018

Anzac Day 25th April 2018



25th April 1915

Saw an armada of ships

On the coast line of turkey convene


Our troops descended upon the shore

Of foreign lands never tread upon before

In the dark of dawn, the wrong destination

Led sadly to the many casualties of war


Australian and New Zealand Army Corps

Courageous & resilient

Let us not forget those casualties of wars


Our fathers, our brothers

Sons of proud and sad mothers

Cousins, uncles, our mates

This sad war sealed over 60,000 of our owns fates


More wars, more departures followed

In solemn silence,

our nation’s grief was swallowed


25th April 2018

Dawn service

Aussie’s all over the world convene


We remember there lives 103 years on

Mateship, sacrifice, heroes

The highest honor, the highest award to all of you

Australia bestows

We will never forget


Signed A Proud Australian

25th April 2018




New creation

Find salvation


Love the world make




Leave behind bitterness

Take part

Open your heart



Create sensation

Have ambition

No time for complication

Find your passion in our nation


For goodness sake



Over and above

Be kind

Open your heart

Let it find


Goodness, kindness

Your duty


Love and happiness in your heart


Copyright Janette Bendle 2018